October Kitchen - September 2020

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Meet the Team Behind Your Meals SEPTEMBER 2020

OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042


It’s been about six months since the world came to a screeching halt. I think now is a good time for everyone to take a snapshot of where we are right now and look at what’s changed over the last six months. While I have been incredibly blessed during this whole ordeal — my family is in good health and my business has been doing well — I have been a victim of the “COVID-19 19” — this is like the Freshman 15, but with four extra pounds of hair. The good news is that I lost those extra hair pounds when the barber shops reopened in the summer. However, losing the extra snacking weight has proved to be a lot harder. This has been a stressful time for everybody and with everything shut down, I know many people lost access to their healthy coping mechanisms. To deal with my stress, I ended up self-medicating with my two favorite things: food and whiskey. Of course, I wasn’t the only person in the kitchen who was dealing with stress. We’ve all been crazy busy working long hours on top of the pandemic disrupting other aspects of life. Two of my chefs had their wedding plans turned upside down. Chef Jamie ended up getting married in a small backyard ceremony in April, while Chef Kevin had to cancel the whole thing — including the cruises and backup cruises he and his fiancée had booked. They rescheduled the wedding for September, but in the meantime, Kevin admits that they spent a lot of time mixing drinks and walking around the neighborhood feeling down.

patterns haven’t been the healthiest for us. The Pennington Biomedical Research Center reports that since the pandemic started, 27% of people have gained weight and were engaging in 80 minutes less of physical activities each week. How do we break out of these patterns and get back to healthier routines? First, we need to be honest about our own mindsets. There’s a book about mindset that I really like called “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.” Written by brothers Chip and Dan Heath, “Switch” takes a look at what really influences human behaviors. Through the book they use a metaphor that I love about a rider on the back of an elephant. We like to think of our minds as rational and in control (like the rider on top of the elephant). The rider can pull the reins and point the direction they want to go. But the elephant is our emotions, and those emotions are a lot stronger than our rational mind. The rider can point the elephant down a certain path, but if the elephant decides it would rather go into the field and eat melons, that’s what it’s going to do. If you want to change your habits, you have to pay attention to your emotions. Focus on what you’re feeling and give yourself an emotionally

How do we break out

of these patterns and get back to healthier routines?

We all had to adapt and establish new patterns to deal with the lockdown. A lot of these new

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AN ACTIVE COUPLE FINDS SOME EXTRA TIME Why Tracy and Brian are Hooked on October Kitchen

“In 2013, Brian was in the hospital for 11 days. On the day he came

home, Brian’s brother, Kevin, ordered us a week of food from October Kitchen. Kevin had received an October Kitchen gift card from friends after his wife passed away in 2011 and he knew how helpful their services can be during a difficult time. We loved their food so much; we were hooked right away! The conveniences can’t be beat and we can always find a great variety of healthy, tasty meals. We’ve been using October Kitchen for seven years and we’ve never looked back.”

A t home it’s just Tracy, Brian and Sherwin, the former stray cat. Trips to the grocery during the week are sometimes difficult to make and time does not always allow Tracy to prepare a meal at the end of the workday. For the Rice family, the variety and convenience they get with October Kitchen is a big part of the reason why they order meals every week. “We love the variety,” Tracy says. “Brian and I have different tastes. I enjoy spicy foods and he doesn’t. With October Kitchen, we can both order what we like. It’s convenient and I don’t have to cook every night. I love to cook, but I also work full time. Somedays I am home from work late and it can be hard to spend time preparing dinner. Ordering from October Kitchen gives us the ability to eat healthy meals while also freeing up our evenings to spend time with each other.”

–Tracy and Brian Rice

ago. Since then, he’s had to be extremely careful with what he eats,

particularly in terms of avoiding foods that are high in fat. Fortunately, Brian finds that the food from October Kitchen is very agreeable — even delicious! Brian now brings frozen meals to work, replacing greasy pizzas and salty grinders with something much healthier for his lunch breaks. Brian is an avid runner and eating well is a big help to maintaining good energy levels during his runs. The convenient meals and quality food allow Tracy and Brian to enjoy their very active lifestyles. In the summers, they spend time outdoors in both New Hampshire and New York State where they visit family. In the winter, the two enjoy a trip to Marco Island to play golf, walk on the beach, go shelling and enjoy the sunshine in Florida. “It’s nice to get away from winter for one week.”

The nutritional quality of the meals is also a big selling point for Brian, who experienced serious stomach issues 25 years

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similar boat. I want to work off that “COVID-19 19” so I can fit in my pants again and not feel exhausted all the time. Our emotions can overrule our mindset and intentions, so make sure they’re working together toward your goals.

compelling reason to change. Then make sure that new path is easy to follow. The easier it is to embrace that change, the more likely that it will stick. The world is still far from back to normal, but if we’re going to be in this for the long haul, we need to take back our health and our habits. To start, focus on giving yourself a good reason to embrace better habits again. With the wedding fast approaching, Kevin’s been working to try and fit into his tux again. That’s a real emotional drive. I’m in a

If you aren’t sure how to pinpoint your own emotional drive, I recommend reading “Switch.” That’s a good place to start.

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DOG TREATS FOR A GOOD CAUSE 2 Fifth Graders Raise Hundreds for Local Food Pantry

action. Thus began Dog Treats by Daniel and Max. The boys spent weeks perfecting their recipes and now offer three types of treats: bacon, almond butter and

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an extra strain on food banks across the country. As unemployment

numbers rise, food banks struggle to keep up with the demands of Americans who need their services. The Milton Food Pantry in Milton, Massachusetts, was no exception; that’s when they received a little help from two kind-hearted 10-year-olds.

chicken. Treats sell for $4 per bag and money from the sales are divided up with 30% each going to Daniel, Max and the food pantry donations. The remaining 10% is used to buy supplies for their operation. “I learned you have to be responsible,” Daniel said. “Your parents won’t always pay for everything

Best friends Daniel Grant and Max Caponigro spent their summer

or do stuff for you.”

vacation in the kitchen, baking up dog treats to raise money for their local food pantry. Daniel lives right next to the Milton Food Pantry. When the boys heard that some people didn’t have enough food, they wanted to help. “We also wanted to pick a charity that would help with COVID and the food pantry has been really busy,” Max told The Patriot Ledger.

Sales started when Max’s mom put a message in the neighborhood group chat — and they quickly grew from there. The boys had to buy more treat molds to meet demand and have set up an email address to take orders. Even people who don’t have dogs have been making purchases and asking the boys to donate the treats to local animal shelters. As of this writing, Daniel and Max have donated over $400 to the Milton Food Pantry. The boys have made hundreds of dog treats and they don’t plan on hanging up their aprons anytime soon.

The boys brainstormed ways they could help and determined that selling homemade dog treats was their best course of

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Pay Attention to Your Elephant

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Have You Met Tracy and Brian Rice?

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Best Friends Making a Difference in Their Community

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Word Search

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Menu: September 1–6

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The Truth Behind the 21st Night of September

What Happened on the 21st Night of September? 4 Decades of Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘September’

“I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him,” Willis recalled in a 2014 interview with NPR, “which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove.” The groove is why “September” has stood the test of time, right from that very first lyric. For decades, people have asked Willis and members of the band about the significance of Sept. 21. As it turns out, there isn’t much beyond the sound. “We went through all the dates: ‘Do you remember the first, the second, the third, the fourth …’ and the one that just felt the best was the 21st,” Willis explained. The truth is that nothing happened on the 21st night of September — except a whole lot of dancing.

songwriter and Tony nominee. But before any of that, Willis was a struggling songwriter in Los Angeles living off food stamps. When White reached out and asked Willis to help write the next Earth, Wind & Fire hit, it was truly her big break.

“Do you remember the 21st night of September?”

In 1978, Maurice White of the band Earth, Wind & Fire first asked this question in the song “September,” a funky disco song that quickly topped the charts. While disco may be dead today, “September” certainly

White and Willis proved to be excellent songwriting partners, but they clashed over one key element of the song: the nonsensical phrase “ba- dee-ya,” which White included in the chorus. Throughout the songwriting process, Willis begged to change the phrase to real words. At the final vocal session, Willis finally demanded to know what ba-dee-ya meant. White replied, “Who cares?”

isn’t. The song is still featured in movies, TV shows, and wedding playlists. On Sept. 21, 2019, the funk hit was streamed over 2.5 million times. It’s no wonder that the Los Angeles City Council declared Sept. 21 Earth, Wind & Fire Day. The story behind “September” is almost as enduring as the song itself. It was co- written by White and Allee Willis, who eventually became a Grammy-winning

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